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Friday April 8, 2005 - 17:24:19 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (8 April 2005)

The euro recovered vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.2810 level before challenging offers around the $1.2930 level. Today’s daily high represents the 38.2% retracement of the move from $1.1760 to $1.3665 and has capped the common currency’s advances all week. Liquidity was light today with no significant economic releases on schedule and much global attention focused on Rome for the Pope’s funeral. Traders are already talking about next week’s U.S. trade data and the upcoming G7/ IMF/ World Bank spring meetings in Washington, D.C. Some market participants believe these meetings will cause global policymakers to become more vocal about the U.S.’s structural imbalances and lead to short-term dollar weakness. This scenario, however, could be tempered by the release of Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes on Tuesday. Fed policymakers clearly adopted an increasingly hawkish bent at their 22 March policy meeting and traders want to assess exactly how hawkish the Fed has become. Remarks from Fed Chairman Greenspan this week have been conspicuously devoid of any significant reference to monetary policy. St. Louis Fed President Poole yesterday said the Fed must vigorously keep inflation in check while Philadelphia Fed President Santomer said policymakers cannot afford to get “behind the curve.” Traders also await a meeting of Ecofin finance ministers in Luxembourg on Monday and Tuesday to see if there are any follow-through discussions about the recent revisions to the European Union’s Stability and Growth Pact. Data released in the eurozone today saw German final March CPI up 0.3% m/m and 1.8% y/y. It was also reported that Germany’s February current account surplus registered €8.4 billion, up from €6.8 billion in January. Euro offers are cited around the $1.2950 and $1.3085 levels.


The yen was little-changed vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥108.85 level and was supported around the ¥108.50 level. The pair remains above the technically-significant ¥108.50 level, the 50% retracement of the move from ¥114.95 to ¥101.80. Data released in Japan overnight saw the March economy watchers’ index improve for the third consecutive month but printed at 49.5 – the seventh consecutive month it was below the “boom-or-bust” 50.0 level. The forward-looking index receded 0.1 index points to 49.8, the first decline in three months. Other data released today saw February core private sector machinery orders up 4.9% m/m. Newly-minted Bank of Japan Policy Board member Kiyohiko Nishimura today said the central bank should “gradually” unwind its long-standing quantitative easing policy. Interestingly, Nishimura said he “feels a bit uneasy” with the central bank’s plan to not alter monetary policy until core consumer prices being to stabilize above zero per cent. Nishimura added he is “cautiously optimistic” about the Japanese economy but conceded it is “not moving forward.” His solution, he said, he is “create new demand that conventional fiscal policy cannot offer.” The Nikkei 225 stock index gained 0.54% to close at ¥11,874.51. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥107.90 level and dollar offers are seen around the ¥109.85 level. The euro gained marginal ground vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥139.85 level and was supported around the ¥139.05 level. The cross briefly traded above the psychologically-important ¥140.00 figure yesterday and its low print today represented the 38.2% retracement of the move from ¥137.30 to ¥140.10. In Chinese news, U.S. Treasury Secretary Snow yesterday called on China to permit the markets to determine the value of the yuan currency. Legislation on the floor of the U.S. Congress called “Chinese Currency Act of 2005” would give U.S. manufacturers to “challenge” China’s FX regime. The legislation would charge a 27.5% tariff on Chinese imports if the government there does not revalue its yuan currency within 180 days. In other news, China’s Foreign Exchange Trade Center – an affiliate of the FX regulator – announced it will begin trading eight new currency pairs on 18 May.

The British pound made a strong move higher vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested offers around the US$ 1.8845 level after testing bids around the $1.8870 level. Sterling dropped like a rock during North American dealing yesterday, crashing through technical support around the $1.8740 and $1.8685 levels, prompted by the weak industrial production data. NIESR today reported that the U.K. economy expanded 0.5% q/q in the three months to March. Cable offers are seen around the $1.8860 level. The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.6850 level.


The Swiss franc appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the CHF 1.1965 level after failing to get above the CHF 1.2115 level. Today’s low represented the pair’s lowest print this week and stops were hit below the CHF 1.2040/ 10 levels as well as below the CHF 1.1980 level. Dollar bids are seen around the CHF 1.1945 level. The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested bids around the CHF 1.5465 level after capping out around the CHF 1.5530 level.


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